Sunday, 9 June 2019

When your skin needs a break... Don't over complicate it

For a few years now we've all been bombarded with more and more layers to add to what was once a soap and water skincare routine. And don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly bought in to this. My skincare routine became more complicated and time consuming by the month. I even had to buy additional bathroom storage to hold my cocktail cabinet of serums, oils, acids, retinoids and double cleaners.

And then out of nowhere, I got perioral dermatitis (PD). I can't say what was the trigger point and indeed this actually quite common skin condition is not only seemingly difficult for GPs to diagnose but it is very difficult to pinpoint what causes it. Here's some additional information (in case you or someone you know might ever suffer from PD)..

From the British Association of Dermatologists:
Peri-oral dermatitis is a common skin condition that more commonly affects women aged 20 to 50 years old. It usually causes persistent redness or small bumps (papules).  It can persist for a few months until the cause is identified and corrected. Peri-oral dermatitis is thought to be a type of rosacea. 

My PD started with redness around the sides of my nose, by my nostrils. I've always been red there so wasn't overly concerned for ages. But then it got worse, redder, drier and a few of the spots mentioned above appeared. At first I treated this as eczema (as suggested by a pharmacist), after a few weeks of no joy with Cetraben, I went to see the prescribing nurse at my surgery.  He diagnosed it as a fungal infection and put me on an anti-fungal cream for the face. A couple of weeks later and no improvement I was back at the surgery and this time a GP diagnosed rosacea and put me on Metronidazole (antibiotic) gel. This didn't help at all and indeed the gel really dried out the area and left it flaky. I started googling (as you do) and when I found some photos of PD, I knew that was exactly what I had. I even sent a message to Nadine Baggot and she very kindly said I needed Rozex - which is Metronidazole but in a cream. I've been using this for 5 weeks now and the PD has improved but not yet completely cleared up.  I did go back to the GP to ask for oral antibiotics but was told that I would need to be on a 3 month course, so I'll stick with the cream.

Needless to say my once tough/can take anything on it skin, is now lack lustre and a sensitive soul! As one of the triggers for PD is mixing and changing skincare products, I decided to really scale back my routine and use uncomplicated but effective products.

For the face
The Cerave skincare range has been developed by dermatologists to repair and strengthen the skin's barrier. Fragrance free, non irritating and non comedogenic but with all the key ingredients that we've all been trying to use such as Niacinamide, ceramides and hyaluronic acid all packed in to no fuss but easy to use packaging.

Hydrating Cleanser - this non foaming gel like cleanser is a delight to use, both in the morning and evening. You wouldn't think it could but it effectively removes all traces of make up, even eye make up (although I can't get out of using a separate eye make up remover for mascara). This cleanser leaves my skin soft and feeling hydrated and just clean.

Facial Moisturising Lotion - for a while I've been using the lotion with no spf for day and night. This is marketed as the night cream. If you like to use a separate spf or prefer your moisturiser not to have spf in, this is perfect. No fragrance, it's a light, easily absorbed cream that leaves skin soft to the touch and ready for whatever make up base you want to apply on top.
The lotion with spf 25 in is the "day cream". This has a slightly thicker consistency than the lotion without spf, and initially I thought would make my skin greasy(er) but it doesn't. It also sinks in quickly and leaves no sheen.

Both of the lotions and the cleansers I'm sure have helped in my PD recovery and I will continue to use because not only do they feel much kinder to my skin, they are really effective.
The lotions are £12.00 each and the cleanser £9.00 (and Boots have currently got a 3 for 2 on skincare including Cerave).

For the body
Love Beauty and Planet shower gel - I kept seeing these colourful bottles in Tesco and then Boots and when I read that the bottles are made from 100% recycled material, are vegan and use ethically sourced ingredients and are just an all round good egg of a product, I had to give it a go. And my word, this particular shower gel - shea butter and sandalwood oil, not only smells delicious, the shea butter in it leaves my skin so moisturised I reckon you could get away with not having to use a body lotion afterwards. (£5.99 for a big 500ml bottle).

But of course you need a body moisturiser and if like me, your skin needs some TLC after coming out of winter hibernation, then this non glamorous lotion will really help.
I got this small 50ml size in the ASOS beauty calendar but the 200ml size of Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion is available from Amazon for £11.25.
Right firstly I'm not going to lie, when I first smelt this lotion I thought I wouldn't be able to use it. I can't describe the smell but it's not what you would look for in a body lotion. However, I have to say after the first couple of uses I can't even smell it now (although I do have a terrible sense of smell). At best now it reminds me of nappy rash cream.

The lactic acid in the lotion helps the skin to naturally exfoliate, removing dead skin cells and stimulating the renewal of healthy skin cells. The results are smoother, healthier looking skin. So I've temporarily ditched my gradual tan lotions to take my skin back to basics and start with a clean, smooth and refreshed looking canvas... ready for the sun (crosses fingers!).



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